A letter to a stranger

All My Love, V
Dearest Vanessa,
We don’t know each other. I’m ashamed to admit I never saw your films nor did I read your writing though as a Latina writer I try to support my hermanas in art.  I only know about your passing because I follow Alisa Valdes on Facebook.  Still, news of your death has touched me.  Once it could have been me blogging a farewell.
I wish our paths had crossed somehow.  I could have told you about my own struggles with self-doubt, depression, and the allure of a quick death.  I wish I could say I was the secret to my own survival.  This is only partially true.  I have to credit therapy, prayer, the love of family and friends. Mostly, it was simply fear that kept me alive, fear of the unknown.  Then I received unexpected news.  Suddenly, it wasn’t only my life hanging in the balance but that of my daughter.  So I really had to rediscover my will to live.   But I was no stronger than you.  I suppose I stayed a few days more.  Now we won’t know what might have been if you had done so, too.
I am sorry you have left the world. I am sad the world did not sense the depths of your pain.  I am hurt that we will never know the extent of your potential and that only your art will endure.  But I hope you have found the freedom you sought for most of your life, la libertad of peace.
I pray for the repose of the soul of Vanessa Libertad Garcia.  Con safos, chica.

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